Deloitte warns of COVID-19 bribery spike

23 March 2020

Deloitte has warned of a potential spike in bribery and corruption across the Asia Pacific in the wake of COVID-19 as the firm warns the unique and intense commercial pressures from the outbreak have increased the threat.

Released today, the Deloitte Bribery and Corruption 2020 Report Navigating with Confidence had surveyed 159 corporate, government and not-for-profit organisations in Australia and New Zealand.

It found that organisations worried more about their people receiving but not paying bribes, that there had been growth in conflicts and interests in the last five years, and one in 20 Australasian organisations had unclear approaches to bribery.

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Oliver May, Deloitte forensic director, said as the threat to livelihoods accelerates, so do the vulnerabilities to dishonesty. 

“As markets reel from the impact of COVID-19, uncertainty and anxiety may well trigger an increase in risky behaviour,” May said.

“Clear, confident, unequivocal communication is so important to ensure the sustainability of your business and protect its reputation.

“The reality is that the 2020 Deloitte Australia and New Zealand bribery and corruption survey leaves no doubt that Australia’s reputation has slipped over the last two years.”

The survey also found that data analytics was still in the hands of early adopters with only 9% of respondents with known incidents using detection data analytics.

Although most organisations identified culture as a primary focus, over the next two years only 27% reported a clear investment in anti-bribery and corruption.

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